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4 Most Critical Strategies For Freelancers & Solopreneurs

If you’re struggling to make money as a freelancer, solopreneur, coach, or consultant, chances are you’re missing at least 1 of 4 critical strategies.


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Kent Stuver

a year ago | 8 min read

If you’re struggling to make money as a freelancer, solopreneur, coach, or consultant, chances are you’re missing at least 1 of 4 critical strategies.

If that’s the case, it’s likely not your fault. You probably just haven’t had anyone sit you down and show you the full pattern.

Online marketing is simple in concept. But, properly executing an online marketing strategy often has its own challenges. So, this post will give you the online marketing tips that will help you get your foundation correct.

To have REAL success in knowing how to earn money online, you MUST follow ALL of these strategies. (Hint: They all start with “C”.)

1. COLLECT Your Audience

The first strategy as a freelancer or solopreneur is to collect an audience. Your audience is a group of people who know your name, have seen your face, and ideally have heard your voice. They know you, like you, and trust you.

Most importantly, they want what you have to sell. (This is important–what they WANT, not what they NEED.) You do this by carefully defining your niche.

Get Social

Today, the easiest place to build an audience is on social media. And the plus side is that you can do this with little or no cost… Just some consistent effort.

Each social media platform has different strengths and weaknesses. For example…

Facebook is the big daddy of all right now, and is one of the best for building real relationships, and some great, ongoing conversations. But, Facebook holds on to your audience’s attention super tightly and doesn’t like to let people leave their site. And, building an audience on Facebook takes a lot of time and patience.

Twitter is kind of the opposite. It’s super easy to build up a following. But the average lifespan of a tweet is about 70 seconds, and engagement is significantly lower than on Facebook. Long conversations are difficult.

Instagram is easy to create stunning content that gets a ton of engagement. But the only place where most profiles can put a clickable link is in your profile bio.

And, each of the other platforms … YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and all the rest… all have their own plusses and minuses. And, each has a bit different strategy for you to execute when using it.

The key is to pick a platform that resonates with you, and focus at least 90 days on becoming an expert in that particular platform.

Then, consider adding one or two additional social media platforms only after you’ve mastered the first.

3 Areas of Focus

In collecting your audience, you should focus on these three things:

  1. Create relationships with your audience.
  2. Build your own personal brand as an authority in your subject matter.
  3. Get members of your audience to give their permission for you to market to them.

You accomplish this in several ways.

Start by engaging with your social media audience in ways that are appropriate to that particular platform. In general, this consists of liking, commenting, and sharing posts made by members of your audience and inviting them to do the same with your own content. Ask questions, and get them to weigh in on topics of interest.

Each day, post at least one new piece of content, which gives your audience valuable information in your subject matter. This content can be a blog post, a video, a meme with your own quote on it, or anything else that your audience will find to be immensely valuable.

And in about 10 to 20 percent of your posts, you can present opportunities for members of your audience to opt-in and give you permission to market to them.

2. CAPTURE Your Audience’s Contact Info

One of the biggest mistakes that most beginners make is that they try to market directly to their social media audience.

Here’s the thing…

People don’t come to social media to buy stuff.

They come to socialize.

Think of social media as a big cocktail party with a lot of different conversations going on. If you jump into the conversations and start promoting your amazing whizzybanger (on sale today for only $19.95), then people will start walking away from you.

But if you contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way, eventually people will start to get curious about you and your professional background. Before long, they’ll ask you for your business card, and perhaps even give you theirs.

By doing so, they have given you permission to market to them.

Everything’s Better With Permission

As marketing great Seth Rogan said, “Every marketing campaign gets better when an element of permission is added. In some cases, a switch to marketing with permission can fundamentally change a company’s entire business model and profit structure.”

At this point, you move people from your wide-open public social media audience into your closed permission-based audience.

Even if you choose to use paid advertising on social media, your primary objective should NOT be to advertise a product directly… You should focus your ads on getting your prospect’s permission to market to you and to bring them into your closed permission-based audience.

That closed permission-based audience can actually take a lot of forms.

I’ve seen people create an amazingly robust and engaged marketing audience using Facebook Groups.

Another framework that shows some early potential is to get Facebook Messenger subscribers using a tool such as ManyChat.

Your Most Valuable Asset Online

The big GRAND DADDY, however (and the one I recommend that ALL freelancers and solopreneurs start with), is an email list, using an autoresponder tool.

Email marketing has a few weaknesses. However, email marketing has a BIG HUGE strength, which overrides all the other weaknesses.

Your email list is an ASSET that you OWN–your most valuable asset online. Facebook Groups, Messenger subscribers, and others are SERVICES that you RENT. At any time, the landlord (i.e. Facebook) may choose to evict you.

If this happens, your entire permission marketing audience may go down the drain, and you’ll need to start all over from scratch.

Now, to be clear, I believe that these SERVICES that you RENT, can supplement your email list in powerful ways.

But your email list should be the foundation of your closed, permission-based marketing audience.

The NET-NET is this: your public social media audience is where you get people to know, like, and trust you. Your closed permission-based audience is where you begin marketing to them (while still ensuring that they like, and trust you–more on that in a bit).

The Strategy

So, the strategy to follow is this:

First, make sure that you have an account set up with an email autoresponder provider.

Second, in your public social media audience, about 10 to 20 percent of your conversation can be in the form of inviting people to subscribe to your email newsletter.

You can simply invite them to subscribe to your email newsletter at the end of your blog posts, videos, and podcasts. Or, you can offer a lead magnet in exchange for their email address, such as a free report, a free video training, a free webinar, or other similar ethical bribe.

You capture their email address, and in the process you get their explicit or implicit permission to market to them.

The goal to start with is to get 10(TEN) quality new subscribers onto your email list every day.

3. COMMUNICATE With Your Email List

The people on your email list have given you permission to market to them.

But that doesn’t mean that they want to get pitch after pitch after pitch.

They want to continue and build the relationship that they started with you on social media–only now they want to feel like you are talking directly to them… 1 on 1.

And, they want to be informed and entertained–both at the same time. A new word has come to describe this: infotainment.

Ironically, much of what you do with your email list is very similar to what you do with your public social media audience. But now your email list will tolerate some marketing messages along-side the infotainment.

It’s Story Time

One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of stories. You tell a story that the people on your email list can relate to, and which increases how much they like and trust you.

Some stories that you tell will be mostly educational, with some entertainment thrown in.

Other stories will be simply about a funny thing that happened to you.

Yet others will be poignant and even a bit emotional.

But always, you talk to your email audience one-on-one, as if you were talking to each person as an individual.

When you use stories properly, your audience won’t mind hearing from you every week! And writing to your email list every week is the first goal you should set for yourself–even if your list has only one person subscribed to it.

4. CLOSE Sales With Your Email List

As you communicate and build trust with your email list, you will be able to present offers to them. If you do it right, you can do this nearly continuously. Sometimes you will do this subtly through “mumbles”. Sometimes you will be explicitly and overtly promotional.

Because you are continuously providing value to your list through stories and content, your list has an open mind to being promoted to.

The Power Of The Mumble

A “mumble” is a brief mention of your of the product that you are promoting.

You can tell a story that relates to your product… and perhaps describes a powerful result that your product gave to yourself or to someone else… Then, you “twist” your story into a mention of your product and how to get it.

Alternatively, you can tell a story that is primarily educational, entertaining, or poignant, and then “mumble” about your product (which relates to your story) in the P.S. of your email.

And, from time-to-time, you can send overtly promotional email messages to your list. Since you are providing so much value to your list on a daily basis, an occasional promo email is accepted just fine. And, when you use a story as the basis for your promo, it blends seamlessly with the rest of the emails that you send each day.

At the end of the day, this is the most important thing…

It doesn’t matter how many followers you have on social media, or how much they engage with you, or how many email subscribers you have…

You MUST become an expert at closing sales through your email messages. This is where the rubber meets the road… And it’s where you can truly accomplish your goal of being able to have a location-independent income.

Imagine This…

Imagine sitting on a tropical beach…

Or at a cabin on the lake…

Or at a vacation resort with your family…

You pull out your laptop computer and spend 15 minutes writing an email message to send to your list.

Then, you close your laptop and go enjoy the rest of the day with the people who are most important to you. And the next time you open your laptop, you’ll find that you’ve had sales in the 5 figures, all due to that one email message.

Now, this won’t happen for everyone…

But this is what’s possible when you follow these 4 strategies that most freelancers and solopreneurs miss.

Did This Help You? If so, I’d greatly appreciate it if you shared it on Facebook and Twitter with the icons below. And, I’d love to connect with you on Twitter, here.

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Created by

Kent Stuver

Solopreneur & Personal Development Coach

Author. Solopreneur. Gen-X Nomad. Copywriter. Online Marketer. Husband. Grandpa. Sax Player.


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